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Allright. I admit it. I need a torque wrench. Dammit. I've done alright so far, but I realized I need to do the balancer adjustment more often and I don't have that light of a touch. So, any suggestions? Do they make a wrench that will do the little stuff (69 inch pounds anyone?) and handle bigger jobs?

Options? Price? Experience? Beam, click, electronic?

I paid the guy at the local MC shop $5 today to use his for the balancer adjustment. And he was an asshole about it. So...time to suck it up and get my own.
 

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Allright. I admit it. I need a torque wrench. Dammit. I've done alright so far, but I realized I need to do the balancer adjustment more often and I don't have that light of a touch. So, any suggestions? Do they make a wrench that will do the little stuff (69 inch pounds anyone?) and handle bigger jobs?

Options? Price? Experience? Beam, click, electronic?

I paid the guy at the local MC shop $5 today to use his for the balancer adjustment. And he was an asshole about it. So...time to suck it up and get my own.
Got mine from Harbor Freight for 16 bucks last weekend. Harbor Freight tools not the greatest in quality, but pretty good. Good enough for me and you can't beat the price!
 

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Yep, the HF inch pound was only 12 bucks with all my coupons. I have the snap on 1/2 drive torque wrench for bigger jobs.
 

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The HF 1/4" drive Inch Pound torque wrench is good enough for 69 inch pounds but...

...technique is critical for any "Click Torque Wrench". If you pull too fast you will not feel the click, and you could continue to pull the torque rewnch. This could cause damage. Pull easy and slow and you will feel / hear the Click.
 

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Be careful about the no name torque wrenches. Even the best wrenches only claim + - 10 percent accuracy. Where I work we send our wrenches out annually to be calibrated / adjusted and find the cheaper ones to be wildly inaccurate to the point of being unuseable. For home use I have a Proto 1/2" drive 10-150 ft. lbs. and another Proto 1/4" drive 40-200 in. lbs. that cover my needs. Both are micrometer adjust clickers. During the Christmas season Sears had their torque wrenches on sale and I went to get a 3/8" drive to fill the gap. What was offered felt cheap in the hand and looked Chinese made. I still don't have a 3/8".

Keep in mind that a torque wrench tries to replicate bolt stretch through a twisting motion, bolt stretch being the truest indicator of clamping force. Point is thread condition and lubrication greatly influence how much bolt stretch is attained regardless of the twisting motion or torque applied. Dry threads vs. say threads coated with a moly lubricant equal different bolt stretch given the same amount of torque. Unless a specific lubricant is called for I just use engine oil on the threads and bolt flanges.

Sorry, I got derailed there.

Oh, and never use a clicker type torque wrench to loosen with.
 

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I was told once by a tech at the race track that Craftsman torque wrenches were one of the most consistent of the cheaper brands. He said they kept their accuracy very well. He was a calibrater for Snap On at the time. Sears website shows a million choices. I bought one 3/8 inch pounder for the smaller stuff and still own a SK for the bigger tighter stuff.
 

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I don't have confidence in craftsman torque wrenches or any of their tools that don't have lifetime warranty. Their torque wrenches or tap and dies are NOT guaranteed for life. Ask me how I found that out.
 

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So, is there really an inexpensive brand/type of torque wrench that we can trust or do we need to fork out some cash for a reliable one (Snap-on)?
 

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tap and dies are NOT guaranteed for life. Ask me how I found that out.
I have nightmares from when I ran a service truck out of Tomales. I was making repairs to pumps, dairy equipment, tractors, loaders, generators, grain elevators, farm trucks, farm quads...anything with caked on 100 yr old manure..some wet.. some dry ... I know all about taps, dies and easy-outs.
I do all I can to not use them, if at all I can help it. ESPECIALLY the "easy-out" and Taps.
 

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If you're not going to use it more than once a year, buy the better of the craftsman torque wrench ( They make a cheap one-mine fell apart and the expensive one) but keep in mind the limited warranty thing. Seeing that craftsman is 3/4 of the price of the snap on would make be buy the snap on. If you only use a torque wrench once every two years then borrow or pay a mechanic to torque a bolt.
 

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I use and have craftsman torque wrenches for work. And yes, if you're really going to be accurate you have to have them calibrated once a year, for ISO9000 certification. Mine at home I haven't had calibrated but they seem to be fine. One piece of advice for a click-type wrench is unwind the torque setting after you're done. Keep's the spring from work hardening.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, as long as we're all agreed. ;)

Good stuff to chew on. Thanks guys.
 

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Harbor Freight..
I took my 1/2", 3/8" and 1/4" in to check calibration when we were doing all the company's wrenches.. They were closer to perfect than all the expensive ones at work..

Set the wrench, use the wrench, unscrew the setting, and put away for the next use.
 

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Anyone got any links for good buys online? Yes, I hate shopping that much.

Plus, I gotta know the price difference and we don't have a good store anywhere near here. You want a t-shirt with something stupid on it? We're all over that.
 

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Be careful about the no name torque wrenches. Even the best wrenches only claim + - 10 percent accuracy. Where I work we send our wrenches out annually to be calibrated / adjusted and find the cheaper ones to be wildly inaccurate to the point of being unuseable. For home use I have a Proto 1/2" drive 10-150 ft. lbs. and another Proto 1/4" drive 40-200 in. lbs. that cover my needs. Both are micrometer adjust clickers. During the Christmas season Sears had their torque wrenches on sale and I went to get a 3/8" drive to fill the gap. What was offered felt cheap in the hand and looked Chinese made. I still don't have a 3/8".

Keep in mind that a torque wrench tries to replicate bolt stretch through a twisting motion, bolt stretch being the truest indicator of clamping force. Point is thread condition and lubrication greatly influence how much bolt stretch is attained regardless of the twisting motion or torque applied. Dry threads vs. say threads coated with a moly lubricant equal different bolt stretch given the same amount of torque. Unless a specific lubricant is called for I just use engine oil on the threads and bolt flanges.

Sorry, I got derailed there.

Oh, and never use a clicker type torque wrench to loosen with.
I have a Craftsman inch and foot lb torque wrenches and I have found the ones with the Craftsman brand are pretty good, but they also sell cheaper ones.

Your not entirely correct about bolt stretch. A steel bolt into aluminum or other materials without high elasticity is not torqued to stretch because it will pull out the threads of the softer material. That is why you should always use the torque specified in the manual. Common torque values are based on similar materials.
 

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Your not entirely correct about bolt stretch. A steel bolt into aluminum or other materials without high elasticity is not torqued to stretch because it will pull out the threads of the softer material. That is why you should always use the torque specified in the manual. Common torque values are based on similar materials.
You are right in that the yield strength of say aluminum threads in an engine case is less than that of the threads of a steel fastener. A certain amount of bolt stretch still must be achieved for a fastener to remain tight and provide the needed clamping force......... However, I may agree with you in whole as evidenced by the amount of loctite I have to use to keep this bike together, modulus of elasticity aside.
 

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I have a pair of Craftsman beam-type torque wrenches in 3/8" and 1/2". I've used the click-type in industrial applications but don't trust them for home use, as I found that they need to be calibrated to be trustworthy, especially the inexpensive ones.

The beam type are simple and their reading doesn't change (they don't need calibration to insure repeatability over time). They may be inaccurate (within thier stated accuracy of +/- X%), but they always read the same.

Tom
 
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